Disarmed and Captive: Greek Gendarmes in Görlitz
This chapter aims at describing the life of the Greek gendarmes of Eastern Macedonia while detained in Germany during the Great War. Compelled to surrender to the armies of the Central Powers in September 1916, these men were—alongside comrades from other units of the Greek Army—transferred to Görlitz, a town of Eastern Germany where they would remain as prisoners until November 1918. Circulating with limited freedom or put to work for German authorities, their time was also spent “fighting”—even in Germany—against their political enemies while Greece stood bitterly divided between the two camps of Royalists and Venizelists. Their spontaneous liberation and return to Greece in late 1918-early 1919 provoked the hostility and irony of their fellow countrymen.
My special thanks go to Professor Hubert Heyriès (Paul Valéry-Montpellier III University) for his advice and suggested corrections.